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Turkey urges Sudan to close Gulen-linked companies

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August 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Sunday called on the Sudanese government to shut down all the business companies liked to Fethullah Gulen, in the east African country.

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Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan (Reuters)

Erdogan made his call while he was addressing by telephone a rally organized in the Sudanese capital attended by Sudanese officials in support of his government after the a failed military coup on July 15 that killed more than 240 people.

In his speech, the Turkish president thanked Sudanese government for its 4 August decision to close four schools run by Fethullah Gulen, a US-based religious leader accused of masterminding 15 July coup attempt in Turkey.

"The Sudanese stood behind the Turks in their ordeal since the first moments (of the abortive coup)" Erdogan said in his address to a public meeting held in the Green Square on Sunday. He further pointed out that he is following with interest , the measures taken by the Sudanese authorities for the closure of Gulen schools and companies.

"With the completion of these measures, I hope that the leadership of the Sudanese government closes all the schools and companies linked to Gulen group," he said, describing it as a "terrorist group".

Since the coup bid, Turkish government has suspended and detained tens of thousands of people, including soldiers, police, judges, journalists, medics and civil servants.

Also, Erdogan vowed to rid of Gulen network in Turkey and around the world. A total of 1,229 foundations and associations, 19 unions, federation and confederation and 15 foundation schools were also closed in Turkey, since 15 July.

Gulen who was an ally of Erdogan in the early years after his Islamist-rooted AK Party took power in 2002, denies any involvement in the coup.

Sudan and Turkey have strong trade and economic ties. Turkish companies invest over $300 millions. In 2015, the volume of trade between the two countries reached $ 450 million USD Dollars in 2015 (export to Sudan: $424,6 million; import from Sudan: $24,6 million), according the Turkish foreign ministry.

(ST)

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